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Premature babies need extra care and attention. A hospital can artificially produce the atmosphere the baby is the safest in but what do you do when you bring your baby home? Most books on parenting do not shed light on this situation. With proper care and attention, your baby will be healthy and will soon need only the attention needed by a full term baby. Before you bring your baby home, ask and clear all your doubts regarding the care to be given to your baby, with the care team at the hospital. So, how do you take care of your baby?
Your baby needs to be in the perfect temperature - not too cold and not too hot. The best way to make this possible would be to dress your baby in layers. In this way, you can add a layer if it is cold or take a layer off if it is hot. Imperfect temperature has been found to be one of the causes of sudden infant death syndrome. The ideal temperature is 18 degree Celsius, but 16-20 degree Celsius should be fine.
Maintain a hygienic atmosphere. Since your baby's immunity hasn't completely started to develop at the rate of a full term baby, it is quite essential that the baby is protected from harmful germs. Clean up your surroundings and disinfect it using organic cleaners.
Plain water is just fine to wash your baby. Do not use soaps because your baby's skin is very sensitive. Initially, use wet cotton or cloth pieces to wipe your baby. A premature baby does not require a bath every day. Make sure that your baby is wrapped in a towel after a bath because damp skin can cause the body temperature to fall.
Your baby's skin is very sensitive so the chemicals in the baby care products are not okay for your baby just yet. These should be introduced gradually after a few more months.
Your baby might not be ready to breastfeed on its own just yet so you may have to use pumps. Also, remember that premature babies require less feed than a full term baby so do not get anxious.
A recent study claims that kangaroo care reduces the risk of death in premature babies. This care involves placing the naked baby against the mother's bare chest inside her dress, in an upright position. Since it resembles a kangaroo's pouch, it is called the 'kangaroo care'. This method helps to regulate the infant's body temperature and breathing.
Make sure you are well aware of what to and what not to do for your premature infant. Click here to see related products at Joy By Nature.
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